I look at Neil Lennon and I think to myself. Where the hell does he get the strength from ?
The reason I ask is because like our Gaffer I suffer from depression. This isn’t the type of depression that can be sorted over six months it’s the type of depression that you have to live with everyday and constantly fight.
Don’t get me wrong when I say that because you can go for one or two years feeling fine but then for no reason it just hits you like a ton of bricks. There are some warning signs but you tend to ignore them because you want to show that ‘your ok’ . You get into a situation where you don’t want to ‘bother’ anyone because they have their own problems without you adding to them. You feel a constant need to try and lead from the front because you don’t want anyone close to you to think that your not in charge of events. In that way it’s probably harder if your a man and especially if you have a wife and family. However in the modern world it’s just as easy for woman to feel like that.
I have suffered from this for over 20 years but unfortunately I never knew it. That was the last thing on my mind. I just thought I was lazy because I went from springing out of bed in the morning to go to out to a job I loved to looking for excuses not to go.
Eventually after 10yrs of thinking I was a lazy useless bugger I finally broke down and spoke to a Doctor. Since then I have been able to recognise the triggers and manage my condition. That’s what it’s all about after you know that you suffer from long term depression just like any longterm physical ailment you need to manage your illness and as such you will have good days and bad days. The main thing is that you finally understand your illness and therefore you can manage it to the best of your ability.
Neil Lennon is no different to me or anyone else who has this illness. He has a family, a job and responsibilities. Just like me and many others he has to go out to work everyday and do a shift to the best of his abilities. He might be a millionaire with no money worries but if you suffer from depression I can assure you that money is the least of your worries.
I’ve probably rambled on a bit here but the crux of this matter is that I take real inspiration from Neil Lennon. When I look at the pressure he is under as the boss of Celtic I know that he can handle that because from my own experience if you get paid for doing a job you would do for nothing then you are a lucky guy. Simply money does not come into it. It’s a bonus.
However , I don’t have a shower of low grade proffessional hacks and dubious administrators watching my every move looking for a chance to stick the boot in. In that respect my life, depression or not is far easier that Neil Lennon’s.
Neil Lennon would not ask me or anyone else to complain on his behalf but fuck it. I’m going to.
We are meant to be living in a society that recognises people with mental health problems. We are constantly told that it is better to go and see a doctor and to be open to your freinds about our condition. That is the way to go, I can’t argue with that in fact I openly encourage that. Unfortunately Neil Lennon has took these steps. He has been open about his fight against depression in the hope that if he as a high profile person can be honest then it may make it a bit easier for people like me to seek help and also show the rest of society that this is a human condition shared by many people regardless of age or social standing.
To the eternal disgrace of the media and football authorities in this country he has not been rewarded for his openess infact the complete opposite has happened. He has been villified at everyturn. Made out to look like a monster in the press which has suited the agenda of the SFA.
I don’t care who you support or even if you like Neil Lennon just sit down and ask yourself these questions.
- If one of your relatives suffered from mental health issues would not expect their proffessional governing body to take this into account when charges are brought against them ?
- Would you think that it was ok for the press to publicly villifie them ?
Unless your a souless bastard you would answer No to both questions.
Hey Ho but this is Scotland.